From Priscilla Ediare, Ado Ekiti
The Ekiti State Commissioner for Arts, Culture and Tourism, Prof Rasaq Ojo Bakare, has described as a rare privilege the choice of Ekiti as the venue for the 2022 Mr and Miss Nigeria International pageant.
Bakare who made the remarks while hosting the organisers of the international beauty competition in his office in Ado Ekiti, on Monday, applauded the organisers of the event for reckoning with the state, assured that the carnival would boost the economy of Ekiti and open new windows of opportunity for more profitable investments.
The commissioner added that the event would not only develop the youth’s potential but would develop the local economy due to human traffic as was witnessed during the 2021 National Festival of Arts and Culture held in the state.
He explained that the competition scheduled to hold in October, in Ado Ekiti, the capital of the state, would be the 11th edition and would be the first time it would be held outside Lagos State.
“Mr and Miss Nigeria International products have become the face of Nigeria in terms of creativity, innovation, integrity and content. They saw the achievements of the Ministry in the last two and half years and concluded that we were doing what other states were not doing in the entertainment industry,” Bakare said.
“They approached us and said they want us to hold this year’s event of Mr and Miss Nigeria pageantry contest in Ekiti. This is the first time it will be held outside Lagos. They believed Ekiti is embracing the global change in the entertainment sector.
“We are announcing that we have accepted to hold the 2022 edition of Miss and Mr Nigeria in Ekiti. It will hold in October and the exact date is being worked upon.
“The beauty of it is that all the beauty pageants across the 36 states and the FCT will be camped for 14 days in the reality show preceding the actual event. The short and long terms benefits will be that it will boost our local economy, particularly the hospitality industry.
“Our traders will also enjoy the stay of the contingents as witnessed during NAFEST. It is heartwarming to say that many contingents that came to Ekiti during NAFEST later relocated and now live here. Some of them also do their businesses here. The future benefits of this event may be that some will come back to invest in Ekiti.
“All over the globe, most of the foreign investors that you see first went to an environment as tourists and later invested there and this is what we intend to do with this carnival.”
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Bakare assured that the state government will partner with security outfits to deploy every strategy that will guarantee safety of lives during the carnival.
Also speaking, the Chief Executive Officer, Brendance and Crusader Limited, Producer of Mr and Miss Nigeria Pageantry International, Amb Brendan Nsikak, said the body decided to give the hosting right to Ekiti due to the giant strides that had been made in the tourism world by Dr Kayode Fayemi’s administration.
Nsikak, who led other entertainment experts to the parley, said: “Since we started in 2012, our winners have been doing well globally in the business, academic and model worlds. Some of them have competed in places like Florida, Bahamas and other countries and won laurels for Nigeria.
“We have held the preceding 10 editions in Lagos, but after reviewing our activities and we asked ourselves which state stands a chance of hosting this eleventh edition and we found Ekiti State as the only state that can launch Nigeria to international level going by their exploits in arts, culture and tourism.”
Nsikak revealed that the company would expend an estimated sum of N60 million to organise the event and that talks were in top gear to partner companies like Lush, Vitafoam, Indomie and other industries that are interested in the entertainment industry for possible sponsorship.
Other entertainment experts at the parley are Head of Marketing, Mr and Miss Nigeria International, Dr Chidima Okafor, Board Director for Logistics, Mr Unuame Kenneth Eseoghene, Board Director, Mr Oviomaighno Stephen and, Member of Board, Mr Okereke Sunday.